Fanfest 2016

In the past, when a Fanfest closed and new things were revealed, the blogosphere asks itself what the effect of the announced changes could be.  Case in point was EVE Vegas 2015 where the capital ship changes were announced (officially) for the first time and the atmosphere in the room turned from a hangover stupor into a buzzing hornet’s nest within minutes – and staid that way for weeks.

Not so for EVE Fanfest.  Sure, Capital ship changes were discussed in detail but they were already on SiSi and most people had a pretty good idea what would be coming. Same for Citadels. With the exception of industrial arrays, there wasn’t anything really new there, at least not that I can remember.  And when was the last time people got excited about a new compression array?

Even Google noticed:

EVE Fanfest 2016 Keynote

 

The actual keynote of 2016 was an odd beast and indicative of the content to come over the next 3 days.  A rotating cast of the excellent CCP_Seagull, CCP_Fozzie, CCP_Quant and a new guy whose name I can’t remember but apparently his task is to renew the new player experience.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t told that, so he spent his time on stage thinking it was a Ted Talk where he can spew pseudo-intellectual nonsense about his abnormal brain.  He even has the dumb beard and hair to go with it and if I was a betting man, I’d put money on his departure within this year.  But in the meantime, he will lead yet another futile round of pretending that new players can be attracted into the game by making things more easy to learn. I wonder when CCP realize that this strategy doesn’t work.  EVE isn’t easy to learn and thats why people stay.  Personally, I agree with Stabs that the most exciting thing was CCP_Quant’s presentation.  Read Stab’s blog post.  Its good.  It reminds us that the economy in EVE is truly gigantic and while I struggle to find ISK for my next Stealthbomber, others finance entire super capital fleets without hesitation.

But aside from this, we learned more about DUST 514 Legion Project Nova, CCP’s third attempt to build a “me-too” shooter.  This time its built on the Unreal engine and hence should be easier to build and maintain but I am still not quiet clear why CCP as a company wants to do that.  As a product, FPS is now “commodity” and even technically solid games like PS2 suffer from the burn out of the community.  Doom was released December 10 1993 and the genre has improved in style but not in principle.  Why would Project Nova be different (*)?  Sure, it will be played inside a spaceship for “resources”.  Ok….

Now, “Project Arena” is a totally different game (pun intended).  Shown as a tech demo at Fanfest, for me it was the very first time I saw a glimpse of what Virtual Reality can be to gaming. See, Valkyrie is a space shooter like many other of the class but with a different display.  Cute but whats the point?  Project Arena is a true 3D simulation that – rudimentary today – allows full-body immersion into a simulated environment.  Now we are talking.  Give that another 5 years to simmer on medium heat and I will buy it.

Fanfest had an excellent alliance Panel with our fearless mercenary leader Seleene competently presenting our Alliance.  He did so with style and the slight arrogance that the Mercenary Coalition is known for – Arrogance that is well founded on achievement.

Enjoy:

 

So, if 2015 was the year of Sovereignty changes, 2016 will be the year of Captial ships, Titans and Citadels – all elements that fit the narrative of massive corporations and alliances well.  Smaller outfits, high-sec players, or low sec pirates may see some table scraps of new boats or new features but all things together, CCP is buffing Nullsec.   This goes to a point where good bloggers comment on it and I do believe that CCP needs to be a little careful here.  Focus on big battles and Nullsec is good and well but most of us old folks have at least one, maybe accounts in high sec for market and “relaxing game play” purposes.  All pressure all the time doesn’t make a good game.

I know this is more rambling than a structured overview and for that I apoligize.  But to summarize, I am enthusiastic about EVE and its future but a little disappointed by Fanfest and its lack of roadmap.  I wanted to see new stargates (in concept), new industrial arrays (with delivery dates – I think we did get that, so its all good), I wanted to see an overhaul of mining as an active game play (blow up rock, collected compressed ore shards), I wanted to see a tight connection between Valkyrie and our new Capital Fighters (come one guys, its too obvious thats what you are trying to do, so dont be coy).

 

But maybe, they save a few announcements for EVE Vegas.  I wouldn’t be surprised if CCP sees EVE Vegas maturing into a bigger marketing event that Fanfest itself.  Its closer to their customers, its a lot more fun and far less expensive to visit. I’ll try my best to be there….

 


*  By the way, if you think naming something “Nova” is a bad idea “no va = it doesn’t go” you just outed yourself as someone who went to a marketing class in B-school and forgot to check his facts.

 

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